Trends come and go in this industry, which is a good thing.  We all need change, even in the restaurant business.  At the risk of sounding whiny (I suppose it’s too late for that), I am ready for the current craft cocktail craze to move along.

I found myself in a local bar recently (hmm, can we still call it a bar?), joining up with my wife and some friends.  At this point in the evening, the cocktail server had been cut, so I had to rely on the mixologist to get my drink.  As I stood at the bar, seemingly forever, I watched as this gentleman played with his….shaker.  I patiently waited–yes I know, that is not a word often used to describe me–as he put together a concoction that consisted of about ten ingredients.

Can I just get a glass of bourbon, please?

I had never seen a drink, stirred and shaken before, but I guess there is a first time for everything.  Not only did he put all of this effort into the making of this cocktail, I got to listen while he described the drink in excessive detail, to the customer, who I imagine was ready to start consuming the thing about five minutes earlier.

He finally made his way over to me and I got to order my drink.  Imagine the disappointment on his face when I just ordered a bourbon neat.  Imagine my disappointment when I found out that my bourbon cost more than the drink with ten ingredients.  Someone may have to explain that one to me someday.  I know he wanted me to at least order it on the rocks so he could ask me which one of the three different types of ice I would like.  Regular cube, crushed, or my new favorite–the giant ice cube.  Everyone knows the giant ice cube keeps the drink cold without making it watery, right?

Bartenders wanted

I guess when it comes down to it I would rather have some crusty old-school bartender than a new age mixologist.  Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing bars infuse their own vodkas and having a lineup of spray bottles filled with house-made bitters, but at least a bartender knows how to crank out drinks fast and recognize that he has a new customer at his bar.  Putting drinks out fast is how a bar makes money, not by making one drink every five minutes.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane Morrill says:

    Parallel story – we were at a coffee shop with our curmudgeon friend. They asked if he would like Guatemalan, Yirgacheffe or Sumatran. He said “I don’t know. I just want a cup of coffee.” They asked him if he wanted a pour over or French press. He said “I don’t know. I just want a cup of coffee.” They seemed baffled but ended up pouring him a mug of something. He gagged when they told him what the coffee cost. Wrong location for this particular customer!

  2. cavegirlmba says:

    Similar story from the Raffles in Singapore… tried the Sling first (too sweet for my taste), then went for the all-time favorite, a Margarita. A three-minute show of cocktail preparation ensued, followed by the handover ceremony of a martini glass filled with an impressive mountain of crushed ice. The only problem: it tasted neither of lime nor of salt nor of tequila (thank god I had gone with the “normal” tequila instead of the suggested mega-expensive one).
    When my disappointment was too visible in my face not to be addressed, I confessed that I honestly did not like the drink.
    Snappy answer: Well, we can prepare you a standard one the next time you come.

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